Making the right decisions through a people focus
In these uncertain times, how do we ensure we make the right decisions? Here at Ericsson, the health and safety of our people, customers and partners is always paramount.
It’s safe to say that COVID-19 is truly affecting all of us, and, whether directly impacting our families or cities, shifting the needs of our customers and businesses, forcing us to change our daily work and life habits, or generally causing concern and uncertainty, this virus is having a measurable impact on everyone.
That’s why, in such a situation as this, we believe it’s more important than ever to lean on and role model our company culture in everything we do. At the same time, we are in the middle of an organization-wide business transformation (just as many other companies in this constantly evolving world), with company culture as one of our main pillars. Today, we can see that this serious and challenging time is actually helping to drive us in transforming and improving in this area even faster.
This cultural transformation is based on our five focus areas — empathy and humanness, cooperation and collaboration, fact-based and courageous decisions, executing speedily, and fostering a speak-up environment — which reflect the values we believe should be lived and experienced at the company every day. And, if not now, when would be a more critical time to live up to these focus areas?
So, with our people in the center of our minds, we sent out a survey to all 95,000 employees asking the simple yet crucial questions of “How are you doing?” “How is your situation?” and “What can we do to support you?”
Creating a speak-up environment where thoughts and feelings can be shared and heard is key to achieving great business impact, and this survey helps us to make fact-based decisions, both short-term and long-term, based on the input of our people. Because what should we do in times of crisis? We should listen to experts. And when it comes to the company situation, our people are our experts, keeping the business — and themselves — running through hard work.
Today, our collaboration with our employees continues, and we’re determined to do all we can to execute our actions speedily — listening to our 95,000 experts all the while— to keep our focus on safety and well-being, and to make sure we do our very best to deliver on our customer needs.
With that in mind, here are four steps to help us as leaders make the right decisions:
- stay close to employees — ask how they are doing, what is working well and what is not, and what you can do to support
- be transparent — share the results from the survey with your employees immediately because transparency creates trust and trust is crucial — especially in challenging times
- take action — don’t conduct a survey if you are not willing to listen to the results. Take immediate action on what short-term things you can accomplish and start planning now for the long-term actions
- communicate — communication is key. If you don’t have much to say, say that. Communication creates a sense of belonging and calm in uncertain times. Also, if you fill out a survey, you expect to hear back about it.